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Current State and Prospects of Consumer Policy: An Introductory Essay

GPS, Vol. 4 No. 1, (2008)

In recent years German and European consumer policy has taken
on a new dynamism. However, both in Germany and the European
Union consumer policy remains on the defensive. This situation
will only change if consumer policy's current deficits in terms of
theoretical input and enforceability can be overcome. Consumer
policy needs to establish its own theoretical framework. It can no
longer afford to define itself merely as a corrective for undesirable
developments in the field of competition policy. The goal must be a
preventive consumer policy, one that sets limits on the
provider/production-oriented development of markets and makes a
positive contribution to sustainable development on both a regional
and global level. Such a goal requires a fundamental reform of the
instruments of consumer policy and policy-makers' understanding
of their role. Consumer research has important contributions to
make to such a reform.

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